Small-scale surface structures, both geometrically as well as chemically, can potentially influence the fluid dynamics and hence the mass transport on a microscopic scale. There is a need to understand these influences in great detail on the nano- and microscopic level, in order to couple them to the largest scales in the flow.
The aim is to study catalytic surface heterogeneity with respect to interfacial transport phenomena. To obtain information, the fluid dynamics (momentum transport) and concentration profiles (mass transport) will be experimentally probed on a length scale comparable to the boundary layer. Special emphasis will be put on the influence of either geometrical heterogeneity (surface structuring) as well as chemical heterogeneity (surface modification).
The proposed catalytic process involves an immobilized catalyst layer, dissolved reactant, possibly with a gaseous (dissolved) reactant (e.g. oxidation or reductions). Well-defined porous supports (e.g. ordered mesoporous) will be fabricated and modified according to the experimental design.
Fig. 1 Concept illustration for catalytic heterogeneity in microreactors